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Thursday, November 12, 2015

A monkey, an animal rights organization and a primatologist walk into a federal court

Thus begins the argument section of the motion to dismiss in the copyright infringement lawsuit filed on behalf of a crested macaque whose "selfies" (the macaque pressed the shutter of a camera he pulled away from a photographer) were published by the camera owner. The motion argues both lack of standing and failure to state a claim, both based on the argument that copyright protections do not extend to non-human animals. As I argued in my prior post, I believe that under Lexmark the proper basis for dismissing is failure to state a claim.

I confess that, while I typically don't like this type of jokey writing move, it somehow works here.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on November 12, 2015 at 03:08 PM in Civil Procedure, Constitutional thoughts, Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


My favorite part was the section entitled "Relevant Fact" (singular).

Posted by: Paul Thomas | Nov 13, 2015 11:25:41 PM

I love a good Oxford comma myself, but the sentence isn't incorrect (or ambiguous), it's just in accordance with the writer's preference. So no sic.

Posted by: alicia florrick | Nov 13, 2015 10:07:40 AM

To articulate the "somehow" of how it "somehow works," it is because the joke itself highlights how absurd the proceeding is. The premise that an animal can hold a copyright is so far out of left field that any serious response, no matter how cogent, would make it seem less ridiculous than it is. The joke (and the rest of the paragraph) highlight that perfectly.

Posted by: A Non-E Mous | Nov 13, 2015 9:55:37 AM

I should have [sic'd] the title--I noticed the missing comma but decided to quote the brief as is.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Nov 12, 2015 11:47:14 PM

It's sad that the first thing I thought when I read the title of your post (and thus the sentence from the motion to dismiss) was, "It's missing a serial comma!"

Posted by: Josh Douglas | Nov 12, 2015 10:18:04 PM

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